A Boy In Nazi Occupied Netherlands

After May 1940, the good times were few and far between: first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews. Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees.” – Anne Frank –

Germany invaded Holland on May 10th 1940. The invasion, based on blitzkrieg, was swift and devastating. Holland surrendered just six days later as her military had been unable to cope with the speed of blitzkrieg. The Dutch government and the royal family escaped and went into exile in Britain.

Following the defeat, the Netherlands was placed under German occupation, which endured in some areas until the German surrender in May 1945. Active resistance was carried out by a small minority, which grew in the course of the occupation. The occupiers deported the majority of the country’s Jews to Nazi concentration camps, with the cooperation of the Dutch police and civil service. In fact, the Netherlands saw one of the highest levels of collaboration during the Holocaust of any occupied country. As a result about 75% of the country’s Jewish population were killed during the conflict; a much higher percentage than comparable countries, like Belgium and France.

Related to this event is the here displayed German passport for a boy. You could assume a ordinary boy but it’s not. Why? I will tell you a bit later.

First of all is very unusual that this passport was issued to a seven year old child as the German passport regulations at that time defined that children from age fourteen can hold their own passport. Secondly the document was issued by the higher SS-Officer & Police Leader for occupied Netherlands in Den Hag.

den hag

Also this part of a handwritten entry at page six tells you a bit more about this boy. He is also included in the “Ministerialpass” (Departmental passport) of his mother. A holder of such a passport type is usually some official of the German government.

page 6

So who was this boy which was holding such a passport? Who was his mother which holds a departmental passport?


The answer comes here… The boy is Gustav Schulze-Bernett and the woman is Sophie Schulze-Bernett.

The father & husband Walter Schulze-Bernett isn’t a nobody!

He was the Head Of The Dutch Section Of The Abwehr (German Military Intelligence) lastly in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel stationed in the Netherlands 1938-1941, then from 1941-1943 head of the Middle East in Ankara. He joined the Abwehr in 1935 and was a Top man of Canaris’ Abwehr.


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